Physical Organic Chemistry holds the key to solving complex problems. This course aims to provide insights into the influence of structural variances in organic molecules. Case studies are used to develop quantitative reasoning in the design of so-called ‘structure-property relations’ and to directly link them to solving problems encountered in complex networks (e.g., “how does the living cell work?”, “how do biochemical reactions in a cell become robust?” or “how did metabolic functions originate?”). With the latter, this course thus also aims to demonstrate the general applicability of the methodologies within Physical Organic Chemistry. You will understand that a framework for seeking structure-property relations, surprisingly, can enable you to disassemble a very broad range of scientific puzzles.|
Examination will be carried out through Problem Solving Assignments and a final (written) exam.
At the end of the module, you will be able to:
- Understand basic concepts in Physical Organic Chemistry (e.g., mass-action kinetics, acid-base equilibria, enzymatic conversions, photochemical processes), and
- Formulate, as well as solve, equations governing these basic concepts.
- Understand how to analyze the influence of changes to molecular structures in Linear Free Energy Relationships (such as Hammett Plots, Grunwald- Winstein Plots, or Swain-Scott Parameters).
- Apply key concepts in Physical Organic Chemistry in real-world problems. That is, translate complex problems into verifiable hypotheses that can be tested: i) within the organic framework (i.e., by designing a set molecular structures and experimental methods), and ii) within the physical framework (i.e., by determining the set of differential equations that govern the dynamics).
Weekly schedules comprise two forms of interactions (Lecture and Tutorials) and one form of exercises (Problem Solving Assignment). The contact moments give you the opportunity to participate in dialogues, debates and discussions on the different topics. The exercises are designed to i) help you better understand concepts and gain confidence in applying them, as well as ii) encourage you to prepare you for lectures ahead of the upcoming week.